Statement on Return of Goldstone Report to UN Consideration

February 5, 2010

Today, J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:

As the Goldstone Report returns to the agenda of the United Nations, J Street remains opposed to one-sided and biased action at the United Nations based on the Report. Specifically, we reiterate our position that the United States government should exercise its veto if the Security Council considers a resolution referring charges against Israel and Israelis to the International Criminal Court. The United Nations and other international bodies such as the Human Rights Council have a demonstrable history of bias against Israel and have focused disproportionate attention on Israel at the expense of numerous other serious human rights crises around the globe. We believe the best way for Israel to deal with the Report and to address charges of misconduct during Operation Cast Lead is to launch its own credible, independent investigation as it has at several critical points in its history. In this, we echo the position of many leading Israelis in and out of government, notably including Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, outgoing Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak. We also share the sense of many in Israel that problems cited with the Report could have been better addressed had Israel cooperated with the Commission in the first place. In recent days, we have also witnessed renewed attacks and campaigns that personally demonize both Judge Goldstone and Israeli human rights advocates and their supporters. There is ample room in a vibrant democracy for disagreement over matters of principle without the need to resort to ad hominem attacks. Civil and human rights activists are vital to the health and vibrancy of a democracy. They deserve far better than to have to endure shameful mudslinging and name-calling. We urge those who oppose the report to confine their attacks and critiques to the substance and methodology of the Report and the appropriate measures that should and should not be taken going forward, and not the character of the people who created it or who have brought the violations to light.